If you’re not taking advantage of filing your taxes via e-file, your essentially doubling the amount of time it can take to get your refund.

While the IRS claims it issues most refunds within 21 days, it’s important to read between the lines on the two ways you can file your taxes.

The first indicator is when you can check on the status of your refund.

For e-file, users are able to use the IRS Check My Refund status within 24 hours of e-filing.

For those filing by mail, they need to wait 4 weeks before they can use this tool to check the status of their return.

The second indicator is the amount of time the IRS wants you to wait before contacting them about your return.

If you e-file, you’re asked to wait three weeks (21 days) before contacting the IRS. If you filed by mail, you’re asked to wait six weeks (42 days) before contacting the IRS.

If you’re going to check the status of your returns, or contact the IRS about a delayed return, you will need the following info:

  • Social Security Number or ITIN
  • Your Filing Status
  • Your Exact Refund Amount

Finally, the IRS used to provide a tax refund processing chart offering expected refund dates based on when you filed your tax paperwork for both e-file and by mail.

The expected e-file date was typically 14 days, the file by mail was 21.

Again, these are estimated times from the IRS and assume you haven’t run into any issues with your return.

So, if you want to get that refund quicker, it’s time to adopt e-filing if you haven’t already!